© Mike Fuchslocher | nippon cargo airlines NCA
© Mike Fuchslocher

Nippon Cargo Airlines, the freighter operator which saw its 11-strong fleet grounded in June over maintenance record issues, is to sell its 747-400Fs.

It also reported that – unsurprisingly given the length of its fleet downtime – it has made a loss.

As part of parent company NYK’s second-quarter results ending October 31, it noted: “Revenues were lower year on year, and a loss was recorded.”

It said: “As part of the … improvement measures, Nippon Cargo Airlines has decided to narrow down the types of aircraft it operates to the Boeing 747-8F.

“Based on this decision, an extraordinary loss was recorded for the impairment loss on the Boeing 747-400F and spare engines owned by the company.”

It reportedly operates three 747-400Fs and eight 747-800Fs. At the start of last month, just five aircraft were operating.

The loss of capacity during the summer season picked up some of the seasonal slack, according to industry sources.

“We only felt the difference in the Japanese and Korean market, but it did coincide with the summer slow period,” said a rival operator.

“NCA is a good carrier. I couldn’t comment on how much that fleet grounding would have cost; it depends on a number of things, but it would have been challenging.”

Two of the 747-400Fs were ferried to California’s Victorville for storage, according to media reports. Cargo Facts (subscription only) has examined which carriers may take on the stored freighters, citing Surparna, Silk Way, Cargolux or Atlas.

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